Las Mercedes y El Naranjito

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The communities of Las Mercedes and El Naranjito are located in the northwestern part of El Salvador and are home to approximately 150 families of mostly coffee farmers. The rural and remote location of these communities has contributed to a long-standing deficiency in the accessibility to potable drinking water. In addition, community members often are not able to afford the fuel necessary to boil water for safe drinking. The El Salvador Ministry of Health has expressed serious concern regarding the undernourishment of many children in these mountain communities. This problem has often been identified as one of the symptoms of water-borne diarrheal disease, usually from lack of potable water.

Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and, therefore, a basic human right.

Kofi Annan

Isa Mundo visited the communities with the help of Engineers without Borders Oregon State University Chapter (EWB-OSU) in December 2007. EWB-OSU has partnered with the communities since 2006 and has designed and installed an efficient and locally sustainable water filtration and delivery system at the El Naranjito school.
Isa Mundo has committed to assist the completion of a gravity-fed water project in Las Mercedes by providing funding for two much needed water tanks that will store and distribute the water from the gravity-fed system. In El Naranjito, the group is now in the process of designing gravity-fed delivery systems to allow water to be piped from springs at a higher altitude to households located below the springs.
The two tanks are a key component of this project and will benefit the community by: having access to potable water; decreasing the time wasted in collecting water; providing children more opportunity for school; and allowing parents to divert their attention to farming and family care.